Bail bonds are considered by many as one of the faster ways to get out of jail after an arrest. This gives the defendants an opportunity to discuss with their lawyers and work on their defense freely. But the bail amount is crucial and might not be affordable for all. In such cases, a defendant might have to willingly stay in jail until the trial gets over. Alternatively, they can approach a bail bondsman to get them bailed out of the bars. Such times are never easy for any accused and their loved ones trying to help. Some people with ill intentions might take advantage by exploiting these vulnerabilities. These can be fake bail bondsmen offering invalid services to subject defendants to scams.
Here we discuss few tips to follow that might help anybody from becoming a victim to bail bond scams:
Avoid Big Discounts
The amount of bail for a defendant is decided by a local judge in most cases. There is also a provision for a fixed bail amount for certain charges. Consequently, state laws also dictate the maximum interest that bail bond services can demand from clients. These interests are often affordable and within the range of 10 to 15% of the total bail. Keeping that in mind, the scope for additional discounts from bail bondsmen is limited. Even then if someone is found to offer huge discounts for bail bond services, it might suggest fraudulence. Cheaper deals may seem appealing to many, but this could land a person into bigger scams later.
Work With Licensed Bail Agents Only
To operate as a bail bondsman, an individual needs to acquire a license through appropriate training. Every bail agent is further required to carry the license at all times and display it on demand. Bail agents have the responsibility in ensuring the defendant’s return to the court for all dates. Failing to do so might result in forfeit of the bond and the agent may need to pay the bail amount in full to the court. As such, state laws have made it illegal for anyone to act and perform as a bondsman without a valid license. So if someone offering bail bond services shows reluctance in declaring a license with validity, they might likely be a scammer.
No Fee Without Paperwork
Professional services do involve certain kinds of fees, and bail bond services are no different. But a legitimate expert or company will demand their dues only after dealing with the necessary paperwork. Only scammers might be the ones asking for payments ahead of proving their legitimacy to their clients. It’s always wise to discuss and make a contract with the bail bondsman for the safety of transactions for both parties. The conditions for payment after delivery of certain service milestones should be clearly mentioned in the contract. There might be serious consequences for failing bail bond requirements, which makes protected documentation even more significant. Hence paying for a bail bond without paperwork might lead a defendant into bond fraud scams unwantedly.
Avoid Those That Solicit
Active solicitation is not a common practice with genuine bail bondsmen. So those kinds of bond agents that are found at jail locations looking for clients should raise caution. State regulations have been put in place against such practices. Due to the vulnerable mental state of detainees, their families are strictly allowed to deal with the process. Moreover, bail bond services are meant for a specific market for which they are always permitted to advertise. Thus, soliciting might seem an alternative suiting pretentious agents possibly in violation of the law.
Dp Background Check For Agents
Nobody can guarantee one particular best bail bondsman. Like in all professions, there will always be some good ones and some not-so-good ones. But in modern times, most bail bond agents or businesses have some kind of online presence. Reviews from previous clients can be insightful while deciding on the right agent. It is always better to find an agency experienced in handling similar cases in the past. References from friends and family also might help in selecting suitable bail bonds agents as well.
Desperation is understandable for a person in unexpected situations. Getting arrested and being sent to jail can make anyone mentally vulnerable. But this is where the loved ones of an accused come in handy for support. Sense of panic can make a person an easy target for bail bond frauds. As such, taking some time to get composed might ensure that a defendant selects legitimate offers, working with a genuine and reputable bail bond agency.